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ARTNeT Working Paper Series No. 123
Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT), Bangkok
Due to multilateral trade liberalization and a large number of bilateral and plurilateral preferential trade agreements, border barriers to trade, especially tariffs, have decreased tremendously. As a result, trade facilitation plays an increasingly important role in removing behind-the-border trade barriers which have become a major trade obstacle. Realizing this, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) program created two important initiatives for the improvement of transportation and trade facilitation. Complementing the ADB's GMS program, Thailand has implemented several national infrastructure and trade facilitation projects. However, these trade facilitation initiatives have yet to positively impact microenterprises, especially the producers of traditional knowledge-based goods in border communities. With a renewed emphasis on rural economic growth, it is important to recognize the challenges microenterprises face and the potential benefits that could be enjoyed if proper policies were put in place to promote their economic integration. This paper illustrates the results of a survey performed by Cheewatrakoolpong et al. (2011) analyzing the main constraints microenterprises face in expanding their businesses and in export promotion. The findings suggest that better access to microfinance products and the procedure for accessing microfinance are instrumental in enabling small businesses to take advantage of trade facilitation initiatives in place. In addition, better coordination between offices of provincial development, the provincial chambers of commerce and other academies such as vocational schools or universities to provide necessary skills and knowledge to the poor and microenterprises. The community groups also have the potential to be very influential in providing knowledge sharing, skills training and access to microfinance and should be explored.
Trade facilitation
traditional knowledge
Nakhon Phanom
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Working Paper

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